Tom Ford Does it Again


The above picture is a poster for the recently released mation motion picture, Nocturnal Animals starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams, directed by Tom Ford. I include the director for a specific reason- those who know his work with film, know that Tom Ford has previously directed only one movie, entitled “A Single Man”. This previous film was nominated for not only an Oscar and Golden Globe, but also won numerous awards including a BAFTA, GLAAD and AFI (not to mention countless others). This content is important to consider when examining Ford’s second movie. And although we are not analyzing the actual Nocturnal Animals movie here, that context does help “set the scene” for understanding the complexity of this poster. Ford is known for his intensity and extreme dramatization of human emotions, which I believe is beautifully exhibited in the poster for Nocturnal Animals. When examining the exact words on the poster, the first line of text mentions “TOM FORD” twice, which again makes sense given his history and helps provide context for this new movie. Under Tom Ford are the actors names, followed by the title of the movie in red, distressed text, then the line “when you love someone, you can’t just throw it away”. Clearly the actors names help establish credibility, but the title and quote are fairly more complex. Knowing the storyline of the movie, both from seeing ads for the movie and actually watching the film, the text and quote make sense. However, for someone who is completely new to the film, these two elements help establish a very dark yet revealing premise of the film. It becomes quite evident that this movie is about a strained or ruined relationship (quote, as well as distressed lettering), while also suggesting a violent or vengeful outcome (red text). The actual name of the movie is also quite interesting. Nocturnal animals are (obviously) animals that are active at night, which brings to mind ideas of darkness, predator/ prey scenarios, and possibly general discomfort. What’s so great about this poster is how well the actual picture compliments and encompasses these ideas so well. The viewer of the poster sees a beautiful woman’s face (Amy Adams) well groomed with makeup, over the faded image of a more rugged-looking man (Jake Gyllenhaal). The color scheme of these two characters as also very dark, with reds and blacks dominating. The woman looks very “distant” or like she’s lost in unhappy contemplation, which the male figure also exhibits (he is looking down while walking). Knowing nothing about the plot at all, someone could easily guess that there are two are ex-lovers and the woman is lost in memories/ regrets, while the man is equally unhappy but is driven to action rather than just contemplation (which, in short, is exactly what the movie is about).

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